Erin Schwartz is a writer based in New York.


Patty Chang’s Arbitrary Acts of Devotion

Alternating between particular and general experience in “The Wandering Lake,” Patty Chang demonstrates the power of arbitrary acts, executed with devotion, to produce their own truth. This is a guide to mourning; but Chang widens the scope to include political conflict and environmental degradation, and argues that, despite the losses we’ve incurred, we are still collaborators in the making of our worlds.

A Glove, a Car, and a Camera

Willa Nasatir: Hitchhiker, 2017

Willa Nasatir—whose exhibition currently at the Whitney Museum features ten large chromogenic prints and seven smaller black-and-white prints, all produced in 2017—shoots on film and does not digitally retouch her images. Her analog production is made all the more surprising by the complexity of her compositions, which densely layer objects, tangles of wire, mirrors, surface glare, and textured patina in a shallow depth of field. The surreal effects happen entirely in the camera.